A venture capital and finance veteran with 19 years of experience is joining the Maryland Technology Development Corporation, better known as TEDCO, to oversee investments for early-stage entrepreneurs and startups.
Katherine Hill Ritchie, who owns an investment and advisory firm targeted towards family offices called Private Capital Investments, LLC, joined the corporation last week as a senior director for venture capital. In the role, she will work to identify Maryland entrepreneurs to receive early-stage capital investments between $500,000 to $2 million. TEDCO manages over $110 million in venture fund assets.
Hill Ritchie, who has both worked in venture capital in a professional capacity and done social investing in her personal life, is excited for the opportunity to combine those two interests in her role at TEDCO.
“You use the same financial skillset,” she said. “I have all these experiences in my past, but this is the first time I’ve been able to put them together.”
Hill Ritchie first met TEDCO’s leaders, CEO Troy A. LeMaile-Stovall and Chief Investment Officer Jack Miner, several months before she applied for the role; the three had been at the same investment conference and made a point to meet up due to their shared Maryland connections (Hill Ritchie grew up in Montgomery County and received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park).
Later, when she saw the position had opened at TEDCO, it seemed serendipitous. For one thing, she had recently returned to Maryland after spending most of her career away from the state, working in New York and Switzerland. She was also traveling less and less due to the pandemic and liked the prospect of a job that was focused more locally than her past positions had been.
“If I can do what I love doing locally, I don’t have to worry about getting on a plane,” she said. “If I have to visit a company, it might be down the street.”
In addition to her role as founder of Private Capital Investments, Hill Ritchie is the director and a board member of the Nottingham Spirk Family Office. She has been recognized for her work within the family office industry, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Global Family Office Investment Summit last October.
She is a member of Citrine Angels, a D.C.-area angel investment group focused on assisting women entrepreneurs and a member of the investment committee for University Impact, a venture capital firm that funds social and environmental entrepreneurship projects started by college students.
Hill Ritchie is also an adviser to startups, with a focus on women- and minority-owned businesses. Supporting marginalized founders, first-time founders, and other entrepreneurs who are often overlooked by venture capitalists is one of the things she is most excited about doing in her new role at TEDCO.
“I want to make diverse founders — females, people of color — feel comfortable pitching,” she said. “I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the table.”
She also hopes that her work at TEDCO will help elevate the profile of Maryland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Maybe Maryland’s been overlooked, too, in some ways, so let’s put it on the map.”